New Order – Lost Sirens (album) (Rhino / Warner Music Group)
In early 2011, Rhino released a compilation album ‘Total: From Joy Division to New Order’, which amongst classic material from Joy Division and New Order, included a then-unreleased New Order track called “Hellbent”. An exhilirating, trademark New Order gem, fans and bloggers went crazy for the song . The band reformed last year, minus co-founder and legendary bassist Peter Hook, and it appears that the success and interest from “Hellbent” prompted the band to release ‘Lost Sirens’.
Listening to ‘Lost Sirens’, it’s safe to say that most bands would kill to have songs as good New Order’s “off-cuts”. It’s madness to think that these 8 songs haven’t seen the light up until now. In fact if the band bought this out as a brand new studio album written in 2013, we’d all be swooning all over it.
The songs that make up ‘Lost Sirens’ are unmistakenbly New Order and it’s no surprise the material here sounds like New Order circa ‘Waiting for the Sirens’ Call’ and ‘Get Ready’ (2001).
The first track, “I’ll Stay With You,” is New Order at their most guitar-pop. Irresistible, impeccably produced, and riddled with vocal hooks, this is a New Order classic chart hit that never happened.
“Sugarcane” is pure pop with funk-guitars, danceable disco-beats and an incredible 80’s vocal hook. Good time vibes all ‘ ’round, just wait for the brief Madchester piano bridge for nostalgic value.
“Recoil” is a beautiful but somewhat sombre number based around piano, vocal and tambourine. Vocally, the verses are remarkably similar to “Guilty Partner” from the band’s classic ‘Technique’ album. The instrumental section during the last couple of minutes is particularly gorgeous.
“California Grass” is another guitar-driven song with yet more brilliant vocal hooks sounding very much like the product of the “Brit-Pop” era. Meanwhile, the aforementioned “Hellbent” is here in it’s original unedited form and it truly is a New Order masterpiece combining the band’s famed blend of electronics and guitar rock with a killer chorus to boot.
“Shake It Up” finally showcases the more synth and electronic side of the band and along with “World (The Price of Love)” from the band’s 1993 album ‘Republic‘ or the band’s only #1 single and 1990’s World Cup anthem “World in Motion“, this might just be one of the most dancey numbers in the band’s entire catalogue. Complete with one of those classic New Order guitar lines so often emulated, it’s immediately apparent that there is no other band on the planet this could be than New Order.
“I’ve Got A Feeling” once again combines electronic loops and guitars and it reminds the listener just how influential this sonic tapestry was (Smashing Pumpkins’ album ‘Adore’, anyone?).
Final track “I Told You So” has the least “wow” factor of the 8 tracks, a repetitive mid-paced track based around jangly guitar chords and simple drum loop that builds in size, it’s nonetheless undeniably New Order.
Thank God the band opened the vaults and finally released this solid and enjoyable collection of tunes.
‘Lost Sirens’ was released today January 14, 2013 and as of the time of writing, Rolling Stone.com is offering a stream of the entire album.
Listen to “Hellbent” below: